Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

September 28, 2012
When Clay returns from school one day, he finds a mysterious package sitting on his front porch. Like any other kid would, he rips it open to discover what is inside. Wrapped in the shoebox covered in brown paper packaging were seven cassette tapes each with “Cassette 1: Side A,” “Cassette 1: Side B” all the way up until “Cassette 7: Side A.” Out of curiosity, Clay plays the first tape. Hannah Baker’s soft voice hummed through the rusty speakers. Hannah Baker, the girl Clay went to school with. The girl who he had a crush on. The girl he worked with. The girl who committed suicide. Hannah soon explained “I hope you are ready, because I am about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you are listening to these tapes you’re one of the reasons why.” So why did Clay receive them, what did he ever do to Hannah? In this book, Clay goes on a journey to find the truth about Hannah and discover why he is on the tapes. Along the way, Clay discovers things that will change his life forever.
The author of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher, uses dual narratives through Clay and Hannah. This helps to give a better understanding of what both are feeling at the same time. He also uses the concept of flashback in this book to show the past events that Hannah has experienced and why they are significant in her death. While I was reading this I felt as though I was in Hannah’s situations and roaming around town with Clay listening to the tapes as well.
The main theme of the book is to think about your decisions and actions before it’s too late to take them back. Clay realizes this when he thinks of all the terrible things people have done to Hannah and how guilty they probably feel after hearing of Hannah’s death. As she says in one of her tapes, “No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Often times we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” Even now after reading this book, I have been more careful about what I say or do because you never know how someone is going to react and how big of an impact I leave.
Thirteen Reasons Why is a compelling story that makes you keep wanting more and more. Usually it is really hard for me to finish books. It sometimes takes me months to read books this size. I finished this book in three days. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t stop reading. I instantly became attached to the characters and fell in love with them. This book conflicts many emotions at the same time. While Hannah was crying, I was also crying. While Clay was angry at Hannah for crying, I was angry as well. Because it was so easy to feel what they were feeling it was easy to relate to both Hannah and Clay’s lives.
This book would be extremely useful to someone who was looking for a reason in life. It really just shows that someone is always there for you and cares whether you can see it or not. Someone always loves you.





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